Japan Airlines’ innovation fund makes strategic investment in Regent


Regent has received a strategic investment from Japan Airlines’ (JAL) Innovation Fund, bringing the total raised by the firm to over $45m. 

JAL said its investment in Regent is the first step to exploring the inclusion of Regent’s seagliders into the carrier’s global network. 

Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of Regent, said: “This strategic investment speaks to the growing adoption of seaglider technology by major airlines. At Regent, we’re at the helm of ushering in a completely new era in sustainable transportation, and  JAL Innovation Fund’s investment gives us the resources and support that we need to unveil an innovative approach for regional travel at lower costs, faster speeds, and zero emissions.”

Regent and JAL are also working together on ecosystem development for the seagliders too. The OEM’s investors to date include Thiel Capital, Y Combinator and Founders Fund.

Yasushi Noda, executive officer and senior vice president, Digital Innovation at JAL, said: “We are very pleased to make this investment in Regent from our CVC, JAL Innovation Fund. We believe seagliders are a safe, sustainable, and economical solution and we are excited to work with Regent to assess demand not only in Japan but around the world. We are delighted to add seagliders to JAL’s list of new challenges and are honoured to work with REGENT to explore the possibilities of seagliders.” 

The all-electric, zero-emission seagliders will leverage existing dock infrastructure to carry people and goods up to 180miles between coastal destinations. Regent has sold over 400 vessels to date, customers include Mokulele Airlines, Southern Airways Express, FRS (Germany), and Ocean Flyer (New Zealand). With more than $7.5bn in orders to enter service by the mid-2020s.